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Girl Scouts Overhauls Badges To Strengthen Leadership Skills in Girls

Girls earn badges such as Cook, Naturalist, and Athlete—topics as relevant today as in 1912—but they also earn badges like Product Designer, Digital Movie Maker, and even the Science of Happiness.

Girl Scouts of the USA, which enters its 100th anniversary year in 2012, is rolling out an all-new collection of badges aimed at giving girls the skills they need to succeed.

Girls can still earn popular long-time badges such as Cook, Naturalist, and Athlete—topics as relevant today as they were in 1912—but now they also have badges such as Product Designer, Digital Movie Maker, Customer Loyalty, and even the Science of Happiness. New “Make Your Own” badges at every level give girls the opportunity to explore any interest they choose.

“Girls told us they want more challenge, and we’ve responded with substantive, focused, fun new badge offerings that will prepare girls for lifelong success,” said Kathy Cloninger, former Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA. “What we need today are more adult volunteers to help girls bring these leadership experiences to life.”

Badges now come in categories: Legacy, Financial Literacy, Cookie Business, Skill-Building, and Make Your Own. There are also awards such as a new pin called My Promise, My Faith, which helps a girl celebrate what her faith and the Girl Scout Law have in common. The new badge portfolio, called The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, also complements GSUSA’s National Leadership Journeys, which help girls explore how to be leaders in their own lives and in the world around them as they take on projects to prevent bullying, protect the environment, and more.

The Girl Scout organization has transformed itself in recent years to focus on leadership development for girls in the 21st century, and the new badge offerings reflect that transformation. “The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting builds the critical thinking, creativity, and entrepreneurship that the next generation of leaders will need to make the world a better place,” said Cloninger.

The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting has found immediate, widespread acceptance in the Girl Scouting community. The initial press run of 850,000 copies has sold out.

About Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois serves nearly 20,000 girls and 6,000 adult volunteers in parts or all of Boone, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties.

Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls in grades K through 12 are engaged in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place. Girls develop leadership potential by participating in age-appropriate activities that enable them to discover their values, skills, and the world around them. Activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness provide girls with opportunities for fun and friendship while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem.

For more information on 100th anniversary activities, or how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, visit www.girlscoutsni.org or call 1-800-242-5591.

About Girl Scouts of the USA

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries.

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